Chromosomal Radiosensitivity in Two Cell Lineages Derived from Clinically Radiosensitive Cancer Patients Academic Article uri icon


  • PURPOSE: Despite its prominent contribution to cancer cure and palliation, around 1% to 5% of cancer patients suffer serious side effects from radiotherapy. A cardinal goal in the fields of radiobiology and oncology is to predict normal tissue radiosensitivity of a cancer patient before radiotherapy. Higher tumor control rates are likely if radiotherapy individualization could be achieved by applying predictive approaches. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: Here, we make use of the cytokinesis block micronucleus assay to assess radiosensitivity in cell lines derived from two different cell lineages obtained from clinically radiosensitive patients. We determined the micronucleus frequency after graded doses of ionizing radiation to primary fibroblasts and lymphoblast cell lines derived from 36 highly radiosensitive cancer patients. RESULTS: Many cell lines, following exposure to ionizing radiation, from patients with severe clinical reactions to radiotherapy showed statistically significantly higher frequencies of micronuclei than those from patients who had normal reactions to radiotherapy. One individual revealed significantly higher micronucleus frequencies in both cell lineages. Interestingly, lymphoblast cell lines from one patient showed micronucleus frequencies similar to ataxia telangiectasia mutated-deficient cells. CONCLUSIONS: These results indicate that the micronucleus assay may have use for identifying predisposition to clinical radiosensitivity, at least in a subset of patients as a component of a pretreatment radiosensitivity assay for use in the clinic.

publication date

  • September 1, 2005